THERE comes a time in every collector's life when a little space in the shed becomes more valuable than an antique cream separator, or vintage Valiant.
Beginning on Thursday, October 8, there will be three sales of antiques and collectables from three separate properties around Lismore - all starting at 10am.
Auctioneer Glenn Weir will handle the gavel first at Max and Margaret McGrath's property at Ruthven on the Thursday, where a range of useful equipment will go under the hammer.
There is a Lucas mill in excellent condition, an Isuzu tipper truck with a rebuilt motor, an old Valiant best suited to someone in need of a project and a rare dune buggy - built by Max himself back in the 1970s from a VW chassis and a fibreglass body.
"We used to drive it from Woody Head to Jerusalem Creek, with Margaret behind the wheel while I skied behind it on the circular end of a PNG cable drum," Max recalled.
There are irrigation pumps and old ploughs, even an International H tractor suited for display.
"I'd still like to use a lot of these items," said Max. "But the tape's getting a bit short. Time's running out. And Margaret has asked me to clean up a bit around the place.
"I reckon there's stuff in the shed from when I was nine years old."
On the Friday morning, October 9, over at Lagoon Grass, John Jacobson is downsizing after a lifetime of collecting.
While he lives on a farm, he spent his working years as a paramedic - attending the Grafton and Kempsey bus crashes back in late 1989.
John's taste is less about tools of the trade and more about curio: There are antique fuel cans - a couple bearing the logo Plume Motor Spirit, with original caps, which should attract some strong attention, and a can with spout from the Huffman Oil Company of Dayton Ohio.
There are a couple of hand-operated cream separators, which bring back memories of the day - an Alfa Laval and a Baltic, the latter includes the original handbook.
There's even a World War Two Army issue field communicator, with both Morse code function and a telephone, packed into a box that can be carried on a belt. The kit includes a pair of original Eveready batteries.
"I've been collecting all my life," said John. "I've got a collection of coins as well."
The following Saturday, October 17, Glenn Weir will be presiding over a bit of local history, when the well-known bricklaying firm of Davis and Reardon close their doors and sell-off a range of old equipment pertaining to their business.
Davis and Reardon were well known in the Lismore area for 48 years and were especially busy during the building boom of the 1960s, '70s and '80s.
"They employed up to 40 men at any one time," recalled Glenn.
Among the items for auction will be trucks and tools, even narrow-gauge brickies barrows designed to fit through doorways.